Hong Kong, China shares tepid despite solid gains in property

Fri May 23, 2014 12:45am EDT

* HSI -0.1 pct, H-shares -0.1 pct, CSI300 flat

* China property sector rises on report of more policy relaxation

* Greentown, Sunac surge after share acquisition announced

* Telecom shares offset Hong Kong property gains (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li and Chen Yixin

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, May 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China share indexes were flat at midday Friday as gains by property stocks were offset by a weak telecommunication tons sector in Hong Kong and drops by energy counters on the mainland.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.1 percent at 22,936.32 points. So far, it was up 1.0 percent for the week.

The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also slipped 0.1 percent on the day and was up 1.5 percent for the week.

The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings both ended flat in the morning. The Shanghai benchmark was at 2020.62 points, down 0.3 percent on the week.

Investors are staying cautious and focusing on limiting risk, said Xu Yinhui, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai, adding. "It's more like 'chasing hot-spots', which does not mean the economy has already been recovering."

The China property sector was lifted by further signs of relaxation from housing authorities.

The CSI property sub-index was up 1.6 percent, after a Shanghai Securities News report cited a central government official as saying more cities would ease their housing purchase restrictions.

Wolong Real Estate Group Co Ltd jumped 7.5 percent, Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd gained 2.7 percent and China Vanke rose 1.9 percent.

Mainland gas shares fell following Thursday's strong gains lifted on a gas deal between China and Russia. Shenzhen Gas Corp Ltd lost 3.4 percent and Sichuan Datong Gas Development Co Ltd was down 3.1 percent.

Chinese developers were also the biggest index boosts in Hong Kong. China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd climbed 4.6 percent and China Resources Land Ltd added 3.8 percent.

Shares of Greentown China Holdings Ltd jumped 6.4 percent in Hong Kong after fellow property developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd said it would buy a 24.3 percent stake at HK$12 per share. Sunac surged 8.0 percent.

But losses by telecom stocks pulled down the index. China Unicom was off 2.7 percent and China Mobile 1.2 percent.

"People are taking profits from previous gains. And also upcoming there is a tax change on telecoms, which would have a negative impact on their earnings," said Ben Kwong, director at KGI Asia.

Belle International Holdings Ltd shed 1.2 percent ahead of its results on Monday. Its shares have lost 10 percent this year, which analysts say stems from concern about slowing sales in China. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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